Last Updated: 29th Jan 2024

Intermediate

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I've done it Done

Hump Ridge Track

Invercargill, Southland

Submitted by Andre Chalmers

Last Updated: 29th Jan 2024

Intermediate

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I've done it Done

Open

Grunt Factor: 74

Gnarl Factor: 38

61.0km

1000m

1000m

978m

  

  

  

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Trail Map

Type of Run

Back country - remote

Combo

Very hilly

Native bush

Beach

Coastal

Riverside

Open tussock/grasslands

Open ridges/tops

Run Makeup

.5%
10%
39.5%
30%
10%
10%

Sealed Road

Farm Road / 4WD Track

Easy Single Track

Moderate Single Track

Technical Single Track

Untracked / Route only

Average Uphill Gradient: +7.3%

Average Downhill Gradient: -6.6%

Trailhead

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Estimated Times to Run

Not suitable

Slow

12:00

Moderate

8:00

Fast

NOTE: the operators of the Hump Ridge Track have a concession from DoC and maintain the huts along the route. While it is public land and you can legally run the route in a day, the concessionaires do not actively encourage it. Please consider either an overnight stay in a hut or at least a donation towards trail maintenance. Thanks for being a responsible Wild Thing!

Most of the trail is marked but it can be easy to miss where to head next if you are not paying attention. Keep an eye out for markers and signs, there are many sections of boardwalk which make navigation easy. The trail starts out easy then changes to a coastal 4wd section for a while. Follow the coast along until you get to Flat Creek, ideally as a runner you get the hard uphill out of the way early and so go anti-clockwise - so head to the right at this point and follow the route towards Okaka Lodge, make sure to look for the markers. You will go past the Water Bridge Shelter and the Stag Point, this area is full of trees so is quite sheltered.

Once at Okaka Lodge, take the loop track for an amazing side trip, it is well sign posted. To continue on the normal trail head back along the ridgeline continuing on your anti-clockwise path, most of this is clear and the gradual descent will be good as a runner, have a snack at Luncheon Rock. Once you get back to sea level make sure you head left and towards the viaducts, the track at this point is pretty clear though often muddy, look for markers and head towards Port Craig.

Chill out at Port Craig for a bit, here there is another side track down to the beach if you are interested. Otherwise head back along the main track which is a pretty runnable and enjoyable section. Follow the coastal section around, occasionally you will go on to a beach area. Blowholes Beach is amazing. Once you get back to Flat Creek then retrace your steps to the carpark.

Massive rock formations at the top of the track above Okaka Lodge are definitely the highlight of this track, the viaducts are absolutely amazing to cross over and marvel at (the Percy Burn is thought to be one of the biggest wooden viaducts in the Southern Hemisphere), major historical areas involving forestry, saw milling and tramways are still evident throughout.

Plenty of parking available. No public transport to start.

102 km

89 minutes

Unknown

No

Moderate.

Flat creek is where the track branches make sure you know which direction you are going.
On the south section be careful not to go along the track which takes you to Waitutu Lodge, read the signage at this point.

Patchy.

Thermal leggings, Lightweight fleece top, Short-sleeved thermal top, Long-sleeved thermal top, Seam-sealed waterproof jacket, Windproof jacket, Gloves, Beanie/thermal headwear, Whistle, First aid kit, Extra food for emergencies, Survival bag, Survival blanket, Cellphone, Map, Headtorch and spare batteries.

Plenty of fresh water if needed

Track is open all year but the tramping season runs 14th November 2017 to 8th April 2018, outside of this time the hut services are limited, weather can be challenging with cold southerly wind coming directly up from Foveaux Strait.

Most of the track is where the old tramway used to go through so watch out for bolts sticking out of the old sleepers.
Footing around the tree sections can be challenging when it is a route rather than a trail, the section from Water Bridge Shelter to Okaka Lodge is especially challenging for a runner.

Waiau Hotel
Tuatapere
http://www.waiauhotel.co.nz/
Great southern hospitality, hearty food after you mission.

Last Light Cafe Restaurant
Tuatapere
http://www.lastlightlodge.com/
Great staff, garden, craft beer and coffee. Free wifi to post your run on social media.

Trail Legend

JR

Jack Reid

has completed Hump Ridge Track once in the last year.

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Trail Reviews

Good run! Very muddy though so hard to move quick, keep this in mind! Also, a lot more elevation gain than reported here. There are plenty of undulating ups and downs to factor in. My COROS watch reported 1900 m total gain. :)

Crystal Brindle

June 17, 2021

This 60km Runventure at the bottom end of the Fiordland National park has been on my want to do list for quite sometime, was so worth the 7hr 40min bus ride 🤪 down to Invergargil, Southland. We got to experience four seasons in one day snow blizzard with intense windchill along the tops 🥶, (not quite the views we were hoping for, yet the wow factor was next level 😃) sunshine with blue skies along the beachs, wind, rain, mud & so much fun had inbetween. All the makings of a great runventure on a spectacular trail, rich with history, in a stunning part of New Zealand.

Steve Anderson

December 13, 2020

Bloody great track this! We did it when the Kepler Challenge was on in December 2019 and the Milford was flooded out (our original plan). Great roots and mud, wonderful ridge and boardwalks, fantastic cuttings and bridges - a trail that changes it's character throughout. We lucked out with the weather in some ways... the rain only fell when we were in the trees, and the sun came out on the ridges and beach. NOTES: Access does appear to be a little strained. We tried to donate money to the trust, but were flat out told it wasn't for running by an unhappy manager. DOC had advised us otherwise... I managed to talk him roundonce on the track by being friendly and pointing out that there is no information regarding running access on the website or track signage, but it was still a bit of a negative point. Watch out for the sleepers in the old railways cuttings (around the 35km mark) - when wet and muddy, the gaps between are hidden and occasionally deeper than expected. Running on the tracks set up a strange, hypnotic rhythm as you negotiate the sleepers, only broken by the spectacular bridges crossing river gorges. There are also remnants of rail track in other places with old, rusty, metal bolts sticking up - watch out for the soles of your feet, and take care not to fall.

Billy Powell

March 4, 2020

This run is great scenery wise and provides some magnificent views, but beware it is not for the faint of heart! The uphill section at it's steepest point is brutal! It's like climbing a 2km ladder made of tree roots! Once that's it if the way nothing else seems a problem until you get to the old railway track that is boggy with mud and difficult to keep your footing on. My advice is watch constantly for tree roots and don't go too hard on the steps on the downhill.

Andrew Aitken

October 5, 2018

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